Alison Locke Perchuk (Art, California State University Channel Islands) considers the production of individual and communal identity as a complex process operating at the intersections of exterior and interior, of physical environment and mental structures, of bodily comportment and spiritual and intellectual practices. Through research in art and architectural history, political and social history, theology, liturgy, literature, and memory and landscape studies, Professor Perchuk’s book project offers a new understanding of this process at work within a medieval European monastery. It reveals a community deeply invested in dominant political and social discourses emanating from Rome, yet also engaged in establishing its own sense of place and identity, rooted in its landscape and its sacred patrons, including the prophet Elijah. It also offers an example of how to tell history in the absence of texts, and indicates how seemingly peripheral monuments can offer ways through scholarly impasses concerning objects and events deemed more central.
Alison Locke Perchuk is a specialist in the art and architecture of medieval Europe and the Mediterranean basin. She has written and spoken on such topics as tenth-century Iberian manuscript illumination, eleventh-century Byzantine bronzes, and twelfth-century architecture and wall painting near Rome. She holds a BA in Art History from Williams College, an MA in Medieval Studies from the Catholic University of America, and a PhD in Art History from Yale University. Prior to her appointment at CSU Channel Islands, she taught at the University of California, Riverside, and Occidental College. She currently serves as the treasurer of the Italian Art Society.
Advance registration not required. No fee. Limited seating.
Above image: Apse frescoes, church of S. Elia, Castel S. Elia (VT). Photo: Alison Locke Perchuk